As usual, my mind wandered a bit during sacrament meeting. The theme was based on Be Ye Therefore Perfect—Eventually by Jeffrey R. Holland (2017, October). One speaker compared these two scriptures:
Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. (Matthew 5:48)
Therefore I would that ye should be perfect even as I, or your Father who is in heaven is perfect. (3 Nephi 12:48)
The speaker addressed the distinctions, as generally taught within the LDS culture (including the unfortunate translation of the word). I’m guessing you already know this, so I will simply skip to what occurred to me as the principal questions:
- Did the Savior consider himself less than perfect while He taught the Sermon on the Mount? Was there more to be required of Him in order that He fulfill the measure of His creation? Was He to be “perfect, eventually?” If not, perhaps He simply didn’t want to incite a rebellion (that would come later :- )?
- If so, did the fact that He had not yet accomplished His Atonement, His Resurrection, and His Ascension comprise (at least in part) the distinction?
- If so, what did He mean by teaching in the Sermon of the mount to be perfect like the Father? Did the imperative imply everyone needed to attain to an atonement, resurrection, and ascension? If not, then what?
- If so, and if we presume that the Father had already attained to these (dare I say) ordinances, and we further presume that to be like the Father the Son had to attain to these same ordinances independent of the Father (i.e., that He couldn’t just receive these as a gift from the Father), did His imperative mean that at some point all who would be perfect like the Father must also attain to these ordinances independent of the Father and of the Son (…)?
Is this what is implied here?
Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. (John 14:12)